Layers of Live DVD

Written by: EW on 13/11/2010 23:25:23

DVDs don't come our way too often so I rather enjoy the opportunity of getting something visual to review once in a while, though obviously in a case like this one potential buyers are much more than likely to be existing fans of the band however much I eulogise over the quality of the product than is the case with an album review. "Layers of Live" is such a case, as much for the overall production quality of the release as is the inherent bluntness of the Swedeath/thrash Darkane have offered up over the course of a 12-year 5-album career. Capturing at it's heart a 14 song performance filmed in Helsingborg in 2006 Darkane proceed to make the art of variable song construction seem a painfully difficult one as riff after riff pass by with little ever left to settle in the imagination. In their better moments, "Chaos Vs Order" and "Solitary Confinement" being my picks, Darkane rely more on punchy top string arrangements than anything approaching panache, a tactic that may and can work for a while (and visibly does for a large number of the audience in the performance) but the lasting relevance of such a sound can be judged by how much you'd rather be listening to a really good band instead (my suggestion: The Crown). In the art of the live performance however do Darkane punch above the weight their music has to offer with plenty of the hair flailing and the kind of thrashing-by-numbers that however dull we've all found to be at least a riot of energy live. But should you not want more than that these days?

Also included in my copy of the DVD is a collection of ten 'extra live tracks' from 2002/2003 that is more noteworthy for the band's only appearance in In Flames-style all white garb. By way of providing value for money none of these ten are found on the main performance but with their average-level sound and unspectacular recording quality it gives the impression of being lumped on more to flesh out the package. A handful of official music videos also find their way onto the disc as way of providing studio renditions of some of the tracks heard in the live setting though I can't help but feel they only further my theory that Darkane are not a final destination band (like Dew-Scented for whom I detect strong similarities) but are one enjoyed en route to finding other acts with deeper meaning and significantly better songs, Meshuggah being another suggestion I might offer to you. Unfortunately my copy does not contain the studio or road documentaries which I hope would have improved my watching experience but for what I've been presented with "Layers of Live" doesn't change my opinion that this is for Darkane fans only, however many exist for such a middle-level band as this one is.


Download: N/A
For the fans of: Meshuggah, Dew-Scented, Carnal Forge
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.07.2010
Listenable Records

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